NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Calvin Pryor has a message for the NFL: hold on to your helmets.
The hard-hitting Louisville safety is already putting his opponents on notice after being drafted by the New York Jets with the 18th overall pick Thursday night.
“I look to intimidate guys right away, coming down here and just smacking people and letting them know there’s no fear in me,” Pryor told the Jets’ official website. “I play fearless. I’m going to fly around for the ball. And I look to be an enforcer right away.”
The 5-foot-11 “Louisville Slugger” had 218 tackles, seven interceptions and nine forced fumbles in three seasons for the Cardinals. It didn’t take long for him to become a leader on and off the field, a role he’s hoping to earn with the Jets.
“I look to be a leader right away, a great teammate, a person with great character,” he said.
The Jets would sign up for that in a minute. But what head coach Rex Ryan couldn’t stop gushing about was Pryor’s penchant for punishing blows.
“This young man is an enforcer,” Ryan told the Jets’ website. “He’s as physical and it gets, and I think everybody’s going to see that. His impact is going to be felt in more ways than one. … He’s a hitter.”
The Jets have drafted a defensive player with their first selection in five straight years.
“You see how some of those kinds of plays and hits and everything else can impact a game,” Ryan said of Pryor. “All you need to do is look at the Super Bowl and the play of (Kam) Chancellor back there, and Earl Thomas. It’s how we want to play defense and I think this young man’s going to step in and fit right in with the guys that we already have.”
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